Most people start a small business with two things: idea and the will to make this idea a reality. Having an idea is the easy part, but seeing that idea through is a challenge. For a business concept to turn into a tangible result, there must be executed. But what keeps an idea from turning into a business? I stumbled upon an article that sheds light into this issue. Citing Scott Belsky, author of “Making It Happen”, Forbes.com contributor, Heidi Neck, outlines four reasons why ideas never go anywhere. (Read full story here.)
The obstacles that prevent ideas to become a real business
We all have a certain degree of unknown fear that we wish we have control over every situation we are in. Belsky writes:
“…in early stage entrepreneurship it can be an unpleasant deterrent. Fear takes many forms: fear of sharing the idea because we can’t handle any type of criticism; fear of leaving the perceived safety and security of our current job to start a new business; and fear of failure and losing too much.”
You might want to have everything within your control, but some things, such as a sudden emerging competitor or a twist in the economy that directly affects your industry are, by their very nature, unknown. This means that you should be ready to handle fear and anxiety. Take calculated risks, and step out of your comfort zone. You will reap the rewards once the idea is off the drawing board.
2. Be a doer, not a thinker
You have probably heard that entrepreneurs are doers, not thinkers. Again creating ideas is the easy part. You may conceive a thousand ideas, but they are meaningless, unless you put them into action. Making the decision to actually turn your idea into a reality is the most difficult part. Remember that idea is just 1% of the picture, the rest is execution. Let me reiterate Belsky:
“I hypothesize that most people just don’t know what to do next with their idea or think they must have all the pieces in place before they can actually start a business.”
3. Too engrossed with data
Business building is more complex than academics. You might fear that you still don’t have enough information to help you propel that idea into the real world. But Belsky says:
“There will never be perfect information when trying to decide to move an idea forward. If we do have perfect information, then it’s probably not a good idea.”
The only real data comes after you carry out that idea.
4. “Planning paralysis”
Data addiction causes planning paralysis. Many great ideas die because of too much time spent on planning. Although I must warn about hasty moves, but it pays off to be quick in coming up with plans on how to execute ideas. The danger arises when a competitor comes up with a similar idea and markets it ahead of you. Belsky stresses:
“Some may argue that writing a business plan is a rite of passage for the entrepreneur. This is just not true. Writing a business plan simply means you are able to write a business plan. It does not force execution on ideas and it certainly does not make us an entrepreneur.”
I cannot overemphasize that ideas are ideas, unless translated into actions that bring about results. The list above is just few of the many other challenges that a business newbie face. Overcome those hurdles, and you will reap the profits of your idea once they come to reality.